The U.S. House of Representatives is considering extra security measures for Congresswoman Ilhan Omar after she came under attack from Donald Trump on Twitter this week, Nancy Pelosi announced on Sunday.
Omar has become a target of the right in recent weeks, and this past week, many focused on a speech she gave to the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR), where she spoke about the group’s founding. In the remarks, Omar incorrectly identified the organization’s founding as coming after 9/11 — it was actually founded in 1994 — and said it was a response to a rise in Islamophobia because “they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”
Some right-wingers took the remarks to mean that the terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center were “some people” and that the attack itself was “something” to which she referred. Others saw her remarks as referencing Islamophobia.
The speech became a major attack point for Republicans and right-leaning publications. The New York Post‘s front cover on Thursday juxtaposed past remarks made by Omar alongside a picture of the burning Twin Towers, and Donald Trump later tweeted an image of the burning towers in his attack on the congresswoman.
Ilhan Omar has allegedly faced death threats in the past, and many within the Democratic Party called for an end to the attacks against her, saying it could incite violence.
On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that additional security measures were being considered to keep Omar safe.
“Following the President’s tweet, I spoke with the Sergeant-at-Arms to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff. They will continue to monitor and address the threats she faces,” Pelosi said in a statement released from her office.
“The President’s words weigh a ton, and his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger. President Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video.”
Others continued to note that the attacks on Ilhan Omar were out of place, claiming that her words were intentionally distorted. The Guardian noted that just before Omar’s statement that “some people did something,” she recognized the dangers of terrorism and noted how the 9/11 terrorist attacks have been intricately tied to public perceptions of Muslims in the United States.
“I think Trump's attack is beyond @IlhanMN. This is about the fact that she looks a certain way, she is a woman of color, she happens to be of the Muslim faith” – @AndrewGillum – https://t.co/nlZyKgUhdL
— Martin Pengelly (@MartinPengelly) April 14, 2019
Others have decried the attacks as racially and religiously motivated, targeting Ilhan Omar because she is a black woman and one of the first Muslim women ever to serve in the House of Representatives.